Right-hander Zack Greinke to start Opening Day for Arizona Diamondbacks

Mar 1, 2017, 2:00 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2017, 11:33 am
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Colorado Rockies during ...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — For the second straight year, it will be right-hander Zack Greinke throwing the first pitch to begin an Arizona Diamondbacks season.

He’ll start Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, April 2 at Chase Field.

Manager Torey Lovullo made the announcement on Wednesday, prior to the team facing the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

The news had been expected for a while now — since the start of spring training, really — but the D-backs chose to wait before making it official. The wait, perhaps, was due to Greinke’s absence through the first handful of Cactus League games.

That wait is now over, as well.

Greinke will make his debut Friday when the D-backs host the Los Angeles Dodgers at Salt River Fields. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Greinke is the last of the D-backs’ projected starting rotation to take the mound this spring.

The decision to slow-play Greinke’s progress has been deliberate, according to Lovullo.

“Out of fairness to him and what he’s done in this game we thought that it would be to our advantage to let him get ready on his own time frame,” he said.

Greinke, whom the D-backs signed to a six-year, $206.5 million contract in 2015, has thrown a pair of live batting practice sessions. He’s expected to throw two innings, or 35 pitches, on Friday.

“It’s about the buildup. We know that, and he’s going to be built up exactly where he needs to be built up to (ahead of Opening Day),” Lovullo said. “If he has a long first inning, then — as we would have done with any of our other guys — we would’ve probably taken him out of the game after the first inning. Zack will follow the same guidelines as all the other guys.”

Last year on Opening Day, Greinke recorded his worst start in four years, allowing seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs, in four innings of what was a 10-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

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